Green Lantern
Initial high hopes for Warners’ adaptation of DC Comics’ GREEN LANTERN wavered when the first trailer was released, although subsequent offerings have shown improvement, culminating in a 30-minute sneak peak critics were shown weeks in advance, which largely impressed. The cynics will have the last laugh however, as it appears the studio was just trying to dress-up a product they knew to be sub-par, as GREEN LANTERN is flimsy, cluttered and ultimately a frustratingly boring experience.

GREEN LANTERN features lots of characters: Hal Jordan’s family, friends and colleagues; a moderately evil Senator, his dangerous son and army of secretive scientists; to the 3599 other Green Lanterns congregated on the planet Oa, their immortal Guardians and an all-consuming evil entity called Parallax. Director Martin Campbell has enlisted some quality acting talent, but while Mark Strong, Geoffrey Rush and Clancy Brown service the CG-heavy, yet visually impressive, outer space sequences with competent performances (though often solely through voice work), back on Earth Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett and Peter Sarsgaard have precious little on the page with which they can work effectively. Sarsgaard’s Hector Hammond – the film’s supposed villain – is buried early on beneath a mountain of make-up just as he was getting interesting, which restrains his performance from being much beyond squinting and sneering for the remainder of the film.

The all-powerful ring that chooses Hal Jordan can create anything his mind sees fit to conceive, yet in the hands of the film’s four clueless scriptwriters, fails to conjure up anything more imaginative than race cars or machine guns – even when facing an unstoppable force capable of destroying entire planets. Ryan Reynolds tries his damnedest to make Jordan charming and lovable, who in lesser hands would have seemed just arrogant and obnoxious. His natural charisma breaks through the deadening fog just often enough, though sadly Blake Lively is unable to add anything to the soulless vacuum of her love interest role. The scriptwriters only ever seem competent when drafting lengthy monologues detailing the rich and complex history of the Lantens, with everything relating to the film’s sizable human element falling by the wayside.

GREEN LANTERN simply fails to engage on the most basic of levels. The action isn’t exciting, the comedy isn’t funny, the characters barely warrant that description and our hero is only passably adept at using his powers to do anything remotely cool. Suffice to say Marvel’s current dominance of the superhero blockbuster seems all but secure, and a damp squib like this just makes THOR and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS seem in a different league altogether. Again, GREEN LANTERN underscores just how essential it is to have a story worth telling before setting out to make a multi-million dollar movie about it. Otherwise you get crap. GREEN LANTERN is a monumental disappointment, and considering the legacy of the character and the wealth of material available to draw upon, it’s downright unforgivable.